The Royals season may be over, but that doesn’t mean enthusiasm for Royals baseball has subsided here on this blog. On this day a year ago at Kauffman Stadium, in what was the last game of the year (as well as Ned Yost’s managerial career), Jorge Soler not only set the single-season record for home runs, but also for Cuban-born players.
To give some context of Soler’s amazing season, here is a video compilation of all 48 of his home runs in 2019 (I’m sure I have shared it before, but still want to do so anyways):
Furthermore, here is a link to the article I wrote for the SABR Games Project in which I covered Soler’s record-breaking home run on the final game of the 2019 season. Below is an author’s note from the piece:
In my opinion as a Royals fan, getting to follow Jorge Soler’s home-run chase was the most entertaining aspect of the 2019 season. Soler had been acquired from the Chicago Cubs in 2017 for postseason hero Wade Davis. Soler Soler struggled through injuries in 2017 and 2018. His 48-home-run campaign in 2019 was sweet validation, especially considering that many Royals fans considered him a “bust” early in his Royals tenure.
While I did not attend the final game of the year, my first experience as a fan with Soler came in a June 6 game against Boston at Kauffman Stadium in which he hit a towering home run to deep left-center field in the fifth inning off Red Sox pitcher Marcus Walden. Almost immediately he became my favorite current Royals player, and to see him become the Royals’ single-season home-run record holder was a treat on a personal level as well.“September 29, 2019: Jorge Soler sets Royals, Cuban single-season home run records” by Kevin O’Brien; SABR Games Project
This may have been a tough season for Soler due to various nagging injuries which affected him at the plate and sidelined him down the stretch. He only posted a slash of .228/.326/.443 and hit 8 home runs in 43 games this year. However, 2019 proved what Soler can be capable of if fully healthy.
Let’s not forget Soler’s massive accomplishment a year ago, especially during Hispanic Heritage Month where we should celebrate some of the best Hispanic and Latino players in Royals and MLB history (hope to do something before the month is over specific to Royals Hispanic/Latino players). Furthermore, let’s hope that he can recover this off-season and enjoy at least one more productive season as a Royal (he’ll be entering his last season of arbitration this Winter).
Because when #SolerPower is in full force, there isn’t a hitter on the Royals that’s more fun to watch at the plate.